Leicestershire Junior Chess runs county teams for U9, U11 and U18s in addition to teams decided purely by playing level alone (J4NCL, U100, U120). There are also various individual competitions including the Leicester Rapidplay (15/10/17) and the Leicestershire Junior Congress (04/03/18) which are local and organised by the Leicestershire and Rutland Chess Association (LRCA) of which Leicestershire Junior Chess is part of. All competitions are included on the calendar
Here is a brief guide to the competitions we play in (in chronological order):
J4NCL – Short for Junior Four Nations Chess League. It’s a national team competition (teams of 4, max squad size of 6) in two divisions that has three weekend competitions per season. Leicestershire won Division 2 on both 2nd and 3rd competition weekends last year!
Any junior can play if selected provided they have an appropriate ECF grade. It’s complicated (top 4 players in team and the squad of 5-6 have to meet a ECF grade average) but you usually need to be at least ECF grade 60 to be fitted into a Div 2 team. We do try to get as many of juniors into teams as possible. More info here
Leicester Rapidplay – A new 6 round swiss competition (all players play in all 6 rounds) this year organised by LRCA at Leicestershire Grammar School on Sunday 15th October 2017. It has an U80 ECF section for juniors (Under 16 on 01/09/17) and would be an ideal competition to get a first ECF Rapidplay grade for improving juniors. It also has Open, U165, U140, U115 sections for more experienced and highly graded players both juniors and adults alike. You can enter online here.
County U100 – A team competition (12 boards) played over the course of a whole season, first in a regional group (midlands for us) and then in a National knockout stage if the county qualifies out of the regional group. It’s not a junior competition per se but we like to select as many juniors as we can provided they are playing around ECF 75 or over (but still under 100 of course!). Time controls are long (games in theory last up to 4 hours) but it’s a great introduction into the world of adult Standardplay chess. Leicestershire won the National title in July 2017.
County U120 – Very similar to the County U100 but with a higher grading ceiling. 2017-2018 will be the first year in a while we’ve entered a team in this category.
U18, U11, U11 Girls, U9 Four Counties Match – This is the first of the team competitions with age group teams. Lots of opportunities for younger improving players to get a chance to be selected to represent the county. The counties involved are Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Leicestershire. It’s an all play all competition (so three games in the day) and it takes place on 26th November in Rugby.
U130 Four Counties Match – This is a twice yearly 12 board all-play-all team competition (Yorks, Notts, Lincs and Leics) for juniors with an ECF grade under 130. Games are 50 mins + 10 seconds per move per player. It usually takes an ECF grade of around 50-60 and above to be in with a chance of selection although it’s often possible for us to take more players as reserves so that they get a chance to play graded friendly matches. The match is hosted by each county in turn.
U11, U9 Midland & North Team Championships – The second age group team competition of the year and again a chance for many young players to gain county selection. We anticipate this one will be in February 2018.
Leicester Junior Congress – A 6 round swiss individual competition (all players play in all 6 rounds) organised by Leicestershire Junior Chess on 4th February 2018 at Leicester Grammar School. Any junior can enter and it will be the following sections: Open, U80 and Beginners (suitable for anyone starting out who perhaps has only played previously in a school chess club). Online entry to follow.
UK Schools Chess Challenge – A nationwide schools chess competition. Children endeavour to qualify from their respective schools to play in the county stage (Megafinal) which is normally in May and then from that try to qualify for either the North or South Gigafinal which is held in July. Full details on their website